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Best Places for Washington, DC Souvenirs

Book a Guided Walking Tour

There are so many great places to find just the right souvenir to bring home from your visit to Washington D.C.

Here are a few places to check out when you’re looking to shop.


1. General Gift Shops:

Abe’s Gifts D.C., Washington Welcome Center, and White House Gifts are the three best options for general D.C. souvenirs.

All three are conveniently located downtown, near major tourist sites.

Be it magnets, T-shirts, or miniature Washington Monuments, you’ll likely find them here.

You'll also find a small selection of souvenirs in Georgetown at the alley shop on Wisconsin Ave NW


2. Smithsonian Gift Shops:

All of the Smithsonian museums have gift shops tailored to the specifics of the museum.

Some even have multiple locations within the museum that might include more specific items.

Be aware that gift shops are a major source of revenue for the museums, and sometimes prices may be a touch higher.

Washington DC Walking Tours

3. Other Museum Gift Shops:

Expect to find a gift shop at most museums and historic sites you might visit, though the size and selection may vary.

One of the more unique gift shops is the one in the International Spy Museum, which carries a wide variety of books, toys, games, educational kits, and (fun) spy gear.

Mount Vernon is another spectacular gift shop.

There is something for everyone from fine jewelry and Christmas ornaments to tri corner hats for the kids.

Mount Vernon Estat Gift Shop

Find out more about visiting Mount Vernon.

Another local favorite is the National Building Museum, which carries unique works of art, jewelry and more.

Arlington National Cemetery has a bookstore and shop with unique gifts to commemorate a visit to this hallowed ground.

Arlington National Cemetery Gift Shop

A popular item is the replica of Arlington House. There is a chance to visit the bookstore before or after our Arlington National Cemetery walking tour.

The Pentagon also has a very small gift shop that you can access on public tours of the Pentagon.


4. White House Gift Shop

There are many ways to get unique souvenirs from the White House Historical Society!

If you can get a tour inside the White House, there is a gift shop in the East Wing you can stop at on the self-guided tour.

white house gift shop

They sell the same White House themed items at other locations if you're not able to get a public tour.


5. Unique DC Souvenirs

If you're looking for something that you can't get at a store to commemorate your time in DC, there are some great options.

A National Park Passport has stamps every time you visit a new park, and there are dozens around the city.

You can get a stamp at historic homes, the White House Visitor Center, and many of the memorials.

Actually, you can get most of the stamps just by going to the White House Visitor Center; they have many stamps there.

Old Supreme Court Room US Capitol

If you visit the House or Senate Gallery at the Capitol building, you'll get a special and very official-looking pass that looks great in a scrapbook!

You can also stop by the Library of Congress to get an official library card - you do not need to be a DC resident or even an American citizen to get one.

DC Postcards from DC by Foot - if you joining us on a walking tour, guides have themed postcards for each tour that you can keep or mail home!

Visiting the Air and Space Museums? Each gift shop has NASA items - the favorite among kids is space ice cream.

Get a DC history-themed book written by one of our guides! Canden has four books about DC history (Georgetown, Women's History and LeDroit Park) and Becca has written a book about women's history.


6. Eastern Market:

On Saturdays, vendors assemble on the streets of Eastern Market, selling many different types of locally made and themed items.

This is a great option if you’re looking to support local makers or trying to find something especially unique to bring home from D.C.

We love Eastern Market and offer a private foodie-themed tour of the neighborhood.


7. Shop Made in DC:

There are multiple locations of this locally owned and operated retail store throughout the city.

What makes Shop Made in D.C. unique is that a local artisan makes everything for sale, and the selection changes frequently.


Honorable mentions:

Each year, D.C. hosts a myriad of holiday markets across the city. It is one of our favorite things to do in Christmas in DC.

The biggest and most popular is on F Street, right in front of the National Portrait Gallery.

You never know what you’ll find, but you can be sure it’ll be something special.

You can also get DC-themed clothes and trinkets at souvenir stands throughout the city.

These are usually set up around tourist attractions and museums during the day. They are willing to haggle so feel free to ask for a discounted price.

About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: November 23rd, 2022
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